Josie Taylor | January 6, 2022
2021 was a year of disasters for many Americans. Wildfires, extreme heat, drought, flooding, hurricanes and more hit so many. There is little doubt that the future will see even more disasters, and the disasters will be catastrophic.
More than 40% of Americans live in a county that was hit by climate-related extreme weather last year, according to the Washington Post. More than 80 percent experienced a heat wave. This is not surprising to scientists because the US has generated more greenhouse gases than any other nation in history.
At least 656 people died due to these disasters, media reports and government records show. The cost of the destruction hit $104 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This number is probably higher because officials have not calculated final tolls of wildfires, drought and heat waves in the West.
While the Federal Emergency Management Agency identified fewer climate-related disasters in individual counties last year, it declared eight of these emergencies statewide, the most since 1998, affecting 135 million people overall.
For the track the US is on now, it is unlikely that 2022 will be much different. In order to see changes we will have to massively cut down on greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.